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Minutes of Meetings of The International Council
1995 August


Minutes of a meeting of the international Council of I.V.U. held on 7th & 8th August 1995, during the Vegan Festival held at the San Diego State University, USA.

Present: Mr Surendra Mehta, Mr Francisco Martin, Mrs Kathy Silk, Mr Saurabh Dalal, Mr Mark Berriman, Dr Riccardo Trespidi, Dr Mex Hershaft, Mrs Madge Darneille, Miss Julia Jacquel, Dr Igor Bukovsky, Mr Maxwell Lee,

1. President's Welcome and Opening Remarks

The President welcomed those attending the meeting and said how happy he was to be at the 8th Vegan Festival. He commented on the fact that IVU was holding two International Council meetings with the same agenda and that not all members were at both meetings. He felt that holding two meetings could lead to difficulties and that in finure this situation should be avoided. He hoped the result of the meeting would be very positive. He further commented on the hard work done by the Hon. General Secretary and thanked him for his efforts.

2. Apologies

Mr Jan Beeldaaan, Ms Diana Ratnagar. It was agreed that apologies would only be recorded for those who were unable to attend either the Bratislava or the San Diego meetings.

3. Minutes of the Meetings Held During the World Vegetarian Congress in The Hague, The Netherlands from 7th-13th August 1994

The meeting approved the amendinents made at the meeting of the International Council in Bratislava.

4. Matters Arising

The matters detailed in the Bratislava minutes were noted.

Minute 5 It was suggested that the old IVU computer might be donated to any organisation that might find it useful.

Minute 20 The Hon. General Secretary was asked to send a response to the Dutch Vegetarian Society about their proposal for an agreed definition of the term "vegetarian".

5. Hon. General Secretary's Report

The Hon. General Secretary's wrirten and oral reports were approved. The reports covered the production and distribution of the IVU newsletter, visits to Singapore and Australia, contacts with vegetarian societies and individuals around the world, the problems involved in holding two meetings of the international Council in two venues with identical agendas, the support given by the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom to IVU, the continuing need for IVU to move to a situation where there is a paid General Secretary with an adequate budget and the correspcndence from Julia Jaquel.

The correspondence from Julia Jacquel was discussed at some length. Concern was expressed at the approach she had taken, especially in view of her very limited experience of the International Council and its work. It was considered she should have taken any queries to the Hon. General directly and not distribute her ideas and views before she had done so. The President proposed the following two resolutions which would be considered at both international Council meetings.

1. This meeting of the International Council has full trust in the honesty and integrity of Mr M G Lee as the Hon. General Secretary of IYU and registers its confidence in his conduct of its affairs. This was approved with all but Mr Lee voting in favour and he abstaining from voting.

2. This Council regrets that Julia Jacquel, as a newly elected member of the International Council, did not fully consult the Hon. General Secretary to discuss her ideas, and has written in the way she has, without having the proper background and knowledge about the Hon. General Secretary and his work.

This was carried nem con with the amendment "considers it unfortunate" in place of "regrets"

The Hon. General Secretary reported an invitation to a meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations to be held in Quebec from 11th - 13th October, 1995. It was agreed he should approach Peter McQueen to find suitable people to represent IVU from Canada or from the USA if this was not possible.

A letter from Nigeria asking IVU to supply letters requesting the British High Commission to grant visas to Nigerians to enable them to travel to the United Kingdom was reported. It was agreed that IVU should only give such letters where such travel was to meet an IVU need such as to attend a congress.

It was agreed that the investigation into vegetarianism in Latin America and the development of a vegetarian data base by the Vegetarian Resource Group should be continued in a phased manner up to a total cost of an additional $3,000.

The loan made to Thomas Nocun of Poland to enable him to develop a vegetarian magazine had been repaid to WU at the beginnilig of July, 1995.

6. a) Hon. Treasurers Report & Accounts for 1994 - 95

In the absence of the Hon. Treasurer, the Hon. General Secretary presented the accounts and report.

The accounts for the year 1994/5 were not yet fully approved by the Hon. Auditor so subject to possible amendment. He had indicated that the investments value should be reduced by 2,034 due to the fall in value during the year and this would lead to a reduction in the surplus for the year to 426. The level of donations was influenced by to a generous donation of 9,500 by Indian diamond merchants in Antwerp although their donations were well below those of the previous year of 23,000. Total income for the year was 14,221 and total expenditure was 11761 After allowing for the fall in value of investments during the year, the net assets were 56,436. All figures are subject to the final audit and will he affected by the decision taken over the loan to the EVU in connection with the costs of the Bratislava congress. Since the Council was informed that the final figures for the congress would not be available for a few months, the finally audited accounts for 1994/5 will be presented to the meeting of the International Council during the next world congress.

It was agreed that the Hon. General Secretary should sign off the accounts when they are ready which is an auditing requirement.

The Hon. Auditor had enquired what would be the position in when the General Secretary retired from the post since he had the cost of the CD Rom facility. The Hon General Secretary indicated he would be willing buy the computer and printer should his successor not require it. Due to the speed of technological changes takaig place the value of the items would not be as high as shown in the accounts if they were sold. It was agreed that, subject to the successor not needing the items, the Hon General Secretary should be allowed to purchase them for a norninal sum.

It was reported that the Hon. Treasurer and Hon. Auditor had now agreed with the British Inland Revenue authorities that IVU was not liable for taxation on its income in the United Kingdom.

It was agrees that any variations in the budgets should be agreed by three of the President, Deputy President, Hon.General Secretary and Hon.Treasurer.

The annual accounts and report were accepted subject to any necessary amendments which would be given in the final audited accounts.

6. b) Budgets 1995/6

Following comments from the Hon. Auditor asking for the explanation for the drop in annual subscriptions, it was agreed that the figure approved for the financial year was a guess and not based on evidence. In view of this, it was agreed to reduce the expected sum for subscriptions in the budget by 25% to a sum of l,125. In addition, the Hon. General Secretary reported that the President had agreed that IVU should go on the internet and that a sum of 250 should be budgeted for this under capital expenditure. This was approved.

The total revenue expenditure budget was agreed at 12,500, the capital expenditure budget was agreed at 2,250 and the income budget at 9,125.

7. Appointment of the Successor to the Hon. General Secretary in 1996

The Hon. General Secretary reminded the International Council of the need to consider not only a new Hon. General Secretary but also the appointment of an Assistant Hon. General Secretary.

8. Minutes of the Meeting of Member Societies held during the World Vegetarian Congress, The Hague, The Netherlands 6th - 13th August 1994

The minutes were noted.

9. World Congress 1996

Jane Salmon joined Mark Berriman to report on the proposed world congress in Sydney, Australia in 1996. Mark Berrian reported that they wished to withdraw their offer to host the congress due to administrative and financial difficulties. The Hon. General Secretary reported the concerns he had felt when he had visited Sydney to discuss progress in the arrangements for the congress. Council accepted with regret the decision to withdraw from hosting the 1996 world congress.

The desirability of holding a world congress in 1996 was discussed and it was suggested that the North American Vegetarian Society might be willing to make their annual Summerfest in 1996 a world vegetarian congress. Alex Hershaft offered to raise the matter with the North American Vegetarian Society and the Hon. General Secretary was authorised to negotiate arrangements with the North American Vegetarian Society in consultation with the President.

10. World Congress 1998

The Thai organisers were getting their plans worked out early and had indicated they wished to hold the congress in mid January, 1999. It was agreed that the congress should begin as soon as possible after Christmas and by very early January at the latest. The Hon. General Secretary would negotiate with the organisers over the year and timing etc.

11. World Congress 2000

It was reported that Toronto had indicated it wished to bid for the congress and that it would report fully to the VUNA meeting in San Diego and seek the support of VUNA for its bid. The Hon. General Secretary had also had an approach from another Canadian city, Calgary in Alberta, but there had been no follow up.

12. Management of IVU Funds

Following discussion, it was agreed that where a decision is required in respect of the budget and/or the management of IVU funds, a decision may be taken by any three of the President, Deputy President, Hon. General Secretary and the Hon. Treasurer. All four should be kept informed of action taken.

13. & 14. Julia Jacuuel's Letters of 17th March 1995 & 9th June, 1995.

It was decided not to consider the letters.


It was felt that it was desirable to resuscitate SCIVU but that the name of the organisation should be The Scientific Committee of the International Vegetarian Union. The Hon. General Secretary was asked to put an article in the Newsletter about the possibilities for such a devclopment.

16. Regional Secretaries' Reports

The reports presented in Bratislava were noted.

17. International Activity

It was felt that IVU should propose suitable slogans to member societies that they might use during their national vegetarian day celebrations. It was agreed that ideas should be sent to the Hon. General Secretary and they should be judged by a small group of Francisco Martin, Hildegund Scholvien, anyone suggested by the San Diego meeting and the Hon. General Secretary. Ideas would be considered with a view to their implementation in 1996.

18. Vegetarian Definition

The question of a definition had been considered in the past and one is given in the constitution. If there is a wish to elaborate on this, it would be best to do so as a bylaw.

19. The Role of IVU

It was agreed that the future development of IVU was dependent on raising the level of financial support and developing sufficient capital to ensure IVU could employ staff and finance office accommodation and travel cost. Fund raising was central to firture growth and members were asked to send ideas for fund raising to the Hon. General Secretary.

20. Any Other Business

The President reminded members that they should consider who might be appropriate people for the posts of Hon. General Secretary, Hon. Assistant General Secretary and for otlier posts that would be filled in 1996.

There being no other business, the President thanked everyone for attending and declared the meeting closed.

Sri Mehta